COVID safety blitz underway across New South Wales

Supermarkets and other retailers across Greater Sydney can expect a visit from SafeWork NSW inspectors to ensure they are complying with the latest public health orders.

SafeWork NSW, Director of Work Health and Safety Dimitri Argeres, said inspectors have been deployed in force, across Greater Sydney, targeting retailers and specifically supermarkets.

“While the vast majority of businesses are making every effort to ensure they do the right thing, it’s now more important than ever for all retailers to be COVID smart and COVID safe,” Argeres said.

“Any business found breaking the rules may be subjected to fines and could face a closure.”

A key part of compliance for businesses is the requirement they have the correct QR sign in procedures and ensure customers are checking in using the Service NSW QR code app.

Inspectors will be focusing on ensuring businesses have COVID Safety Plans in place, are adhering to check-in processes, and ensuring they are respecting the physical distancing and mask wearing requirements.

Inspectors will be focusing on retail outlets within major shopping centres including supermarkets, other retail and food courts that are open for takeaways, while also checking that businesses that should not be trading are closed.

“The need for customers to check in when entering retail stores cannot be overstated, as it allows for effective contact tracing.

“It is critically important businesses have the correct check in measures for customers and that patrons are doing the right thing and checking in, otherwise severe penalties apply,” Argeres said.

Where businesses are found to be non-compliant, penalties of up to $5,000 can apply for a first offence while repeat offending can lead to business closures.

All members of the public are encouraged to report any potential COVID safety breaches on the NSW Government website or to Crime stoppers, and to play their part in keeping the community safe by checking in when entering a store or business, wearing a mask, and otherwise following the advice provided by NSW Health.

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